So, you have reached 40 weeks and one day in your pregnancy. What happens next……. Well the phone will ring and ping constantly with family and friends asking if you have had the baby yet that’s one thing that will definitely happen! Your ‘due date’ is really a calculated estimate of a date. Midwives categorise full term pregnancy as any time between 37 and 42 – that is a full five week window. So by concentrating on your due date, feeling fed up and disappointed the star attraction has not yet made an appearance by this magical date can lead to feelings of frustration.
Leading French Obstetrician, Michel Odent likens full term pregnancy to ripe fruit on a tree. The fruit will not all be ready for picking at the same time and decide to fall when it is ready, when the time is appropriate.
This will probably be the last time it is just you and your partner together, alone. If you go on to have more children then, when you are past your due date on your next pregnancy, you’ll have a little one to cope with as well. Enjoy your time together. Go on a date night, nice forest or beach walks – it may be a while until you get to do this again! Spending time with your partner and loved ones creates the magical oxytocin – the hormone of love, which, in turn will create the optimal environment to encourage labour to start. Try not to wish the time away however tempting that may be, there are a number of suggestions that you may find helpful at this time.
Spoil yourself a little. There appears to be a huge growth for beauty treatments to be undertaken – hair/nails/bikini lines towards the end of pregnancy. Although remember, your midwife will have seen it all before so do not feel any pressure to undertake any beauty treatments! But take care of you. Enjoy nutritional food, you may like to invite some friends over but insist they all bring ‘a plate’ so you can socialise without the stress or hard work of hosting. Enjoy some gentle exercise and yet rest when you feel like it. This may be the optimal time for catching up on that box set you have been meaning to watch!
However you spend your time try, if you can to be patient, and just go with it and let it be. Monitor baby movements, rest and enjoy these last few days of carrying your baby with you. This magical time is soon forgotten.